Politics

GIBA rebukes NMC over actions against Onua FM/TV

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The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has expressed concerns about the actions of the National Media Commission (NMC), requesting the National Communications Authority (NCA) to take Onua FM/TV off the air.

The Association believes there are far more avenues to explore in addressing the matter at hand, chastising the NMC for failing to offer Onua FM/TV a fair hearing.

The National Media Commission (NMC) wrote a strongly worded letter to the National Communications Authority (NCA), requesting the suspension of the authorization of Onua TV and Onua FM over their alleged incessant attacks on personalities.

The NMC states that the suspension or revocation of the licenses of the two stations has become imperative because “the two stations have become the soundtrack to hateful rhetoric carefully orchestrated to incite ethnic division, provoke mutiny in the armed forces and prey upon the youth for insurrection against the state.”

However, GIBA, in a statement signed by its President, Cecil Thomas Sunkwa-Mills, said the NMC’s notice to the Advertisers Association of Ghana on the revocation of the license is tantamount to depriving the stations of their advertising revenue.

“GIBA frowns at the actions taken by the NMC in addressing the issue of the alleged ethical journalistic infraction by the two stations for the reasons that, the Association believes there are far more avenues to explore in addressing the matter on hand, such as giving the opportunity for fair hearing to the stations rather than pronouncing sanctions upon them to the extent of alerting the Advertisers Association of Ghana of a Notice of Suspension without due process.”

“GIBA believes that such actions which are tantamount to depriving the stations of their advertising revenue are unacceptable. The fact that the NMC sought to cut-off the life support of the stations by writing to the AAG is damaging.”

In an interview on Eyewitness News, Mr. Sunkwa-Mills insisted that the NMC “missed the point of giving them a hearing. We will focus on due process for correction.”

He said the matter has been referred to a committee to look into the it.

The management of Onua TV/Onua FM filed a perpetual injunction against the National Media Commission (NMC) at the High Court in Accra, restraining the commission from taking any steps that adversely seek to impact the media operations of the company and its associates.

Onua TV/Onua FM is praying the court, among other things, to declare that some orders issued by the Commission to Media General subsidiaries are unlawful and that the “conduct of the NMC in refusing to give the stations an opportunity to be heard before imposing sanctions on them is a breach of the law and of natural justice.”

The NMC, on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, sent a letter to Media General, extending a deadline to Onua FM/TV and Captain Smart to apologize over comments the broadcaster made deemed “inciteful.”

The leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has disclosed that it is currently investigating a petition by the military high command against Onua FM and Onua TV over the alleged misconduct.

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